Match Preview - Morton vs Queens Park (11th February) - Match Previews - Jump to content

Match Preview - Morton vs Queens Park (11th February)



Morton v Queen’s Park – Match Preview

by Russell Gordon

The league leaders come to Cappielow Park supported by Dalrada Technology looking to extend their lead at the top of the table for at least 24 hours, with Morton looking to arrest a winless run which is now stretching across seven league games, all the way back to November 19th.

With the Scottish Cup taking centre stage on the fixture list, and the only other Championship game this weekend taking place on Sunday between Dundee and Cove Rangers, this weekend’s match provides Dougie Imrie’s side with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the inactivity of a number of the other play-off contenders.


Photo - GBR Photographs.

Squad News

Kilmarnock left back Calum Waters made an encouraging start to his loan spell in last Saturday’s draw in the Highlands and will be expected to make his home debut against Queens, whilst George Oakley will hopefully return to the squad, having missed the visit to his former employers last weekend after his own promising debut a fortnight ago, scoring in the disappointing 1-2 defeat at the hands of Arbroath.

In the event of Oakley returning, Imrie will have a dilemma in how he sets up, with Robbie Muirhead’s hopefully confidence-boosting strike at the Caledonian Stadium showing that he has every intention of proving that he’s still the man to lead Morton’s frontline.

Current Connections 

There are a few connections in both playing squads- Jai Quitongo and club captain Grant Gillespie both enjoyed successful two year stints on Glasgow’s southside (and the various other locations Queen’s Park called home), enjoying successive promotions and a League Two title before moving onto Morton.

Assistant Manager Andy Millen finished his lengthy playing career at Hampden, playing 19 games in 2011 for the Spiders before finally hanging up his boots at the ripe old age of 45.

In the visitors’ camp, Lee Kilday is a familiar face to the Cowshed faithful, having enjoyed a five year spell at Cappielow in which he managed to bag a League One winner’s medal and played an important role in Jim Duffy’s side who re-established themselves again as a Championship team after the disastrous relegation that preceded his arrival.

Winger Josh McPake, on loan from Rangers, also enjoyed a loan spell from the Ibrox side at Cappielow; arriving for the delayed start to the 2020-21 season, playing only six games and picking up a red card in the league opener against Alloa, before disappearing to Harrogate Town on a similar deal in the January window. Given the internal politics at the time at Cappielow, it’s difficult to blame him for racing out the door at the earliest possible opportunity.

Tale of the Tape 

Morton hold a 100% record against Queen’s Park this season. Admittedly, the clubs have only met once, but we’ll take what we can at the moment and hope to maintain that record beyond the weekend.

Still smarting from the previous weekend’s 1-5 mauling at Firhill, Morton travelled to the Spiders’ temporary lodgings at Ochilview and recorded a surprise victory that would prove to be a springboard for what was to become a ten match unbeaten league run before we hit the difficult month of January. A 19th minute goal from Jaze Kabia, knocking in from close range from a corner in what was his most accomplished performance in his time at Morton, gave the ’Ton the lead, which was extended by Robbie Muirhead just before the hour mark, only for Malachi Boateng to nearly rip out the net in reducing the arrears on 68 minutes.

A fine rear guard effort saw out the victory for Morton, not without some scary moments, and in particular Darragh O’Connor’s clearing header right at the death which proved enough to see the visitors over the line.


Photo - GBR Photographs.

Opposition Analysis 

Whilst on the field, everything is rosy in the Queen’s Park garden, their rapid rise up the divisions and the increasing likelihood of promotion to Scotland’s top flight has raised a number of questions around the infrastructure at the club.

The redevelopment of Lesser Hampden has been a slow process, and there are serious questions being raised about the capacity of the new facility and how it will cope with the larger visiting supports not only in the Premiership, but also even at Championship level.

To exacerbate the concerns about the running of the club, their exit from the Scottish Cup was surrounded in farce. Having beaten Inverness 2-0 at the Caledonian Stadium, they were then expelled from the tournament having selected Hearts loanee Euan Henderson against the Highlanders, having signed him after the original date for the tie.

The loss of talismanic captain Simon Murray is undoubtedly a blow for Owen Coyle, but he has moved to address the issue, bringing in the aforementioned Henderson and Motherwell striker Connor Shields in the hope of plugging the gap left by Murray.

I spoke to Enzo Tamagini from the Spriders Talk Podacst (@SpidersTalkPod), who was somewhat cautious ahead of the match

“Last week was realistically about as much of an emotional rollercoaster as any Queen’s Park supporter is ever likely to experience. We lost a massive game against Dundee up at Dens, then found out that our top scorer and captain was leaving while on our way to Inverness on the Tuesday night. Fortunately the players proved that they’re not just a one man team with a good 2-0 victor which ultimately counted for nothing thanks to an administrative error that had us thrown out the tournament anyway.

On Friday night they showed a real togetherness again during the televised fixture on BBC Scotland with another good performance and important win against Ayr United that has left us feeling that we may still challenge for this league title. The new signings gave excellent accounts of themselves; Connor Shields, on loan from Motherwell, seemed to fulfil a very similar role to Murray, and Marcel Oakley put in a phenomenal shift at right back.

January was always going to be a difficult month when you consider the run of fixtures Queen’s Park had, and we’ve come out it (relatively) unscathed. The impact that Murray’s departure has had on the team won’t be immediately evident, but there’s every reason to be optimistic about his replacement.

The fixture list looks somewhat less daunting looking forward, but as we all know anything can happen in this league. Morton may be on a poor run, but they certainly got the better of us last time the sides met, and they play the exact style of football which we struggle to handle as it totally stifles our creativity.

I think we’re all expecting a very close match, and it’s a vital one too with so much at stake for both clubs!”

DSC_2338-Edit (1).jpg

Photo - GBR Photographs.

Betting Guide 

All odds are supplied by McBookie. All odds correct as of 7am on 10th February 2023 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling. 

Home advantage sees Morton as the slight favourites heading into the game at 13/10, whilst Queen’s Park come in at 13/8, with the draw at 13/5.

Morton to end their long run without a clean sheet is 3/1, whist Robbie Muirhead to bag the final goal of the game is 11/2.

Match Officials 

Referee- David Dickinson

AR 1-  Graeme Leslie

AR 2- Elliot Husband Powton


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